Research On Hybrid Fillers Is In The Works. How Will They Differ From Traditional?

There are thousands of anti-aging serums and creams out there for people to combat their dreaded wrinkles and lines with. But, as of late, it's becoming more and more common to get "tweakments" done, and dermal fillers are an extremely popular form of these non-surgical procedures. As described by Cleveland Clinic, these cosmetic injections are intended to round out areas of the face that have begun to sag or wrinkle after losing volume. Their sources reveal that over 3 million people get dermal fillers annually in the United States.

The FDA explains that dermal fillers consist of gel-like materials. The fillers approved by the FDA include hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) beads. A study published by the journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that hyaluronic acid is the most commonly used substance for the procedure, while calcium hydroxylapatite is the second. Research is currently being done on fillers that combine these two substances to create "hybrid" fillers.

What do hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite fillers do?

Dermatologic surgeon Dr. Michelle Henry explains to Byrdie that hyaluronic acid, or HA, is a compound that naturally occurs in the skin and is responsible for its ability to absorb and retain water. Facial plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip R. Langsdon adds that when HA is injected into the skin, its ability to hold water is what plumps up the desired target areas.

The other filler being used in the preliminary research around hybrid fillers is calcium hydroxylapatite, or CaHA. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery explains that CaHA is a compound that is naturally stored in our bones. In comparison to HA, it is thicker, lasts longer, and generates collagen production in the skin. Currently, there is little research and evidence on the benefits of mixing cosmetic filler materials. However, today, more and more researchers and physicians are considering the benefits of combining CaHA and HA in these procedures.

What could hybrid fillers offer?

In this article by dermatology researchers Nabil Fakih-Gomez & Jonathan Kadouch, the two detail how CaHA and HA function to complement one another. According to Fakih-Gomez and Kadouch, HA is easily compressed, making it the best filler for bonier areas with thinner skin. Although, they write that CaHA has a "stronger tissue-lifting and skin-tightening effect compared to HA." In addition, they mention that CaHA filer has a longer-lasting impact on the skin than HA.

To provide both outcomes within one surgery, the study tested out combining the two materials. Fakih-Gomez and Kadouch reported that these results were tremendously promising. Layering on these two fillers showed improved results for jawline contouring, volumizing, and lifting the skin within one procedure. And while the report confirms that the effects were positive, it is essential to note that this practice is still being investigated and has yet to be approved by the FDA.